I discovered the Lighthouse Café in the movie La La Land. One of my favorite scenes is the one at the Lighthouse when Ryan Gosling’s character rebukes Emma Stone’s character for dismissing jazz music as just something to relax to when getting a facial. It’s a powerful moment in the way he juxtaposes that which is so vital about jazz for him with the bitter reality that for many it’s a dying art form. I can relate to that.
La La Land came out at a time in my life that was pretty emotional. I first saw it while I was in the thick of making plans to move to Los Angeles. “Here’s to the fools that dream’ sings Emma Stone, which pretty much sums up how I felt, walking away from everything I had established in life to move to LA. It was a tough choice to make at my stage in life and I like to think that in some small way this movie tipped an internal scale within me, a romantic endorsement for pursuing your dreams… and I can’t help but wonder just how many others out there, sitting in the darkness of a movie theatre, made up their mind to do just the same?
Fast forward a couple of years and there I am living in LA and within driving distance of all those iconic locations in La La Land, including the famous Lighthouse Café of Hermosa Beach, which I made a pilgrimage to one Sunday afternoon. Sitting at the bar and texting with my Dad back home he tells me that an album in his collection was recorded at the Lighthouse. It was a record he’d bought years ago as a young man in London, and there I was all these years later sitting opposite the very same stage where it had been recorded. It was a cool moment.
Which brings me to where I am now in this photo, a fool with some pretty big dreams of my own, connecting the dots of a record bought long ago, to a barstool I sat at, in a jazz joint I learned about, in a movie I watched, at a time in my life when I was looking so desperately for any sign that could tell me that everything was going to be ok. Funny how it all works out, isn’t it? Oh there are still a few dots to connect yet and i look forward to finding out how they do. Until then, here’s to jazz and live music! Here’s to the Lighthouse Café for keeping it alive! Here’s to my music and getting up on that stage one day to perform it… and here’s to the fools that dream!